June 17, 2019

June 16, 2014

5 years ago I hit Publish on my very first blog post for Dream Big and Buy the Shoes.
Photo by Buco Balkanessi on Unsplash
I had so much excitement, energy and hope around that post. Part of the thrill in blogging in the beginning was that same excitement and energy and the feedback I received from my posts. It's part of what keeps me going five years later. The other part is the beauty of it all. Putting yourself out there isn't easy and every blogger chooses what they share. I share a LOT of myself, and while it's my choice, it's also incredibly refreshing and therapeutic which is helpful. The beauty is hearing that someone else is going through something similar or receiving an e-mail thanking me for the help or sharing advice. It's sharing a piece of clothing that makes me feel great and other women engaging in conversation about how it's inspiring to feel good with no regrets.
I've virtually connected with so many people- bloggers, readers, a community of women that have become my friends. I've met a handful of them in person, and hope to meet even more in years to come. I'll never forget when I was on bedrest in the hospital and a beautiful floral arrangement arrived from a group of my friends, who are bloggers. Some don't understand- but this community and the friendships are beautiful and so special. We get each other in ways that other's don't and I'm thankful to have them.
That's not to say that my own personal friendships with those I've known for years is not wonderful, because they are. These are the people that share my posts or encourage me on a daily basis and support my blog- not because they have to, but because they want to and they care. I'm so appreciative of those who read, like, share and engage with my posts here on Dream Big and Buy the Shoes, because this piece of the Internet is a large part of my life.
 I share my struggles, my accomplishments, my personal words and pieces of my life in hopes that I can inspire or encourage others. I want everyone to know that big things are possible with hard work and dreams.
I've made mistakes the past 5 years, I've taken time off and I've even debated shutting down the blog. I felt like I wasn't delivering what my community needed to hear at the time, but the beauty of blogging is sometimes time away allows you to become more creative. I won't always be everyone's cup of tea and that is OKAY. I'm here to deliver a message, share something that makes you smile, or make you laugh with a silly story about a recent hot mess I made of myself.
It all began June 16, 2014...
5 years later-
...772 posts published
3 website designs
lots of late nights
so many happy tears shed
...and hopefully tons of smiles passed on

THANK YOU for your continued support and love- it's because of this community that I can continue to live out my dream here on Dream Big and Buy the Shoes. Never stop...Dream Big friends! XO!

June 14, 2019

On Father's Day...

Father's Day is this weekend, and as a parent I think it's important to celebrate those that make a huge difference in our children's lives. Make sure you thank all those men who take time, show love and have helped influence your life on Sunday!

So for today, a little ode to the one I partner in crime, the wonderful husband of mine, and the amazing father to our children.
On Father's Day...
- we thank you for your dedication and hard work for our family.
-we appreciate you making the best dinners that we all enjoy.
-we are thankful for you always making us laugh, you produce the best giggles out of all of us.
-we love that you are always up for an adventure and making memories.
-we are so happy that you motivate us, joke with us when we get mad and make life fun even when we are trying to be serious sometimes.
-we enjoy that you are forever down for a ride around the peninsula and trip to the beach, including a stop for french fries and ice cream.
-we realize all you sacrifice for our family and are forever thankful that we are yours.
From playing at the park, taking time off work to be by our children's' side, making sure we eat dinner because honestly, some nights we would be eating cereal  and tucking (all of us) in at night- they're just a few moments and ways you make our days better.
There are way too many wonderful things to list about you-but I hope you know that when we smile, laugh with you, give you a big hug and kiss and look in to your eyes at the end of each day that you are a huge part of our happiness. Ethan, Bella and I are more than blessed to have you as the leading man in our life.
We love you for being you, the best Dad ever. On Father's Day (and every day) we are especially thankful for you and all that you are. Our  number one.
June 11, 2019

Spring Book Review

Coming at you on a Tuesday, surprise! It's time for another round-up of my recent reads. I brought a handful with me this week on vacation, and will be sharing those when I return. Linking up with Steph for Show Us Your Books
Photo by Anjeli Lundblad on Unsplash

This Spring book review is full of great books that I'm excited to share with you! It's quite the variety which I am stoked about- since I usually am drawn to horrors, mysteries and that type of genre. Let's get started-
The Sisters Chase 4/5
18 year old Mary and 4 year old Hannah are left parent-less after their Mom dies in a car accident. Just the two of them, alone and broke leave town to create a new life, over and over again. They struggle to settle down roots while Mary cleverly and passionately brings in money to support her and her younger sister, whom she lovingly calls Bunny. There are several flashbacks throughout the story, that tell about when Bunny was born that left me shocked. Others who reviewed the book said they figured it out early on, but I guess I'm pretty clueless- LOL. It was very well written and I read it all in one night because I wanted to find out what the flashbacks were telling and where the girls would go next as they grew up. I gave it 4 stars for my sheer disappointment in the ending and a few things that happened in the book how the story was told- I don't want to give too much away, but this is a great read! Thanks for the recommendation, Kasey!

Wow, I can't rave enough about this book. I was so touched, felt vulnerable and totally fell in to the story. I could not put it down! I cried many times reading from the perspective of both the husband and wife and their struggles. Quinn and Graham meet in a wild, unexpected way and turn a really awful moment in to a great one. The story developed how I wasn't quite expecting and I loved the flashbacks from then and now. A damaged couple who make mistakes, deal with heartbreak and the very thing that happened in the past could ruin their future. It's a gripping story full of emotion, and I don't want to give much away but as I said, I was moved by their story. It's so real, beautiful and a mess all at the same time- and for this, I especially loved it.

Kayla had mentioned this book on Instagram, and the name alone intrigued me. I had not heard of Mary Giuliani prior to this, so the story may have read a bit differently if I was a foodie or in to her personal history. I really enjoyed the collection of her memories- everything from growing up, her journey to motherhood and hilarious stories of working with the stars. Mary is a caterer to celebrities who started by just wanting to be famous and had what she calls "the breakthrough role of a lifetime" serving the list of stars she once wished to be a part of. Mary is funny, relatable, and a hard worker which shines through in her great stories. I enjoyed it, but think I would have much more if I knew of Mary before reading.

House of Versace 4/5
Written by Deborah Ball- who is a long-time Milan correspondent for The Wall Street Journal interviewed members of the Versace family, friends such as Naomi Campbell and colleagues including Anna Wintour, the well known editor of Vogue to tell this story of Gianni's struggles and rise to stardom. Chuck and I watched The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story last year and found it so interesting...yes sad and heartbreaking, but also crazy. I was intrigued in Gianni's background and this book tells about how he got started, and all of the bold moves he made to move up in the fashion world. His past and story is so intriguing and full of interesting pieces that make the book very enjoyable. It was a bit long in my opinion, which resulted in my rating-a very cool read though!

The Idea of You 5/5
Christine and Lindsay chose this for their Influenced Book Club Pick and since I wanted to finish it before their discussion I jumped on it. I hadn't heard of it until they mentioned it and the way Christine spoke about it on the podcast made me set down the book I was reading and pick up the new one as soon as I got home from work that day. Solene Marchand, the thirty-nine year old Mom and owner of a prestigious art gallery, takes her daughter Isabelle to Las Vegas to meet her boy-band loves of her life, and reluctantly so since she was sent by her ex-husband to take his place tagging along her daughters and her friends to this concert full of screaming teenagers. Solene goes, and backstage meets Hayes Campell, one of the members of world-famous August Moon- he's cute, confident, and she has an immediate attraction to him...even though hes's only twenty years old. They begin seeing each other in between her art shows, meetings and flying around the world to connect with clients in the midst of his schedule of tours, promotions, talk shows and more. Solene and Hayes find a connection that seems to grow and grow, even though she knows it can go nowhere. Their love life starts impacting lives around them and gets to the point where a change needs to be made. 
I read this in two nights. The first night I got about 1/3 of the way through the book and when I started reading the next night I couldn't wait to find out what happened in the end and found myself up past midnight doing so. I was definitely tired the next day at work-oops. I couldn't believe the ending, I thought it was going to go a different way- but one you may not think of reading through the book. I LOVED this story- the author Robinne Lee is AMAZING and does such a great job telling a story.
Before and Again 3.5/5
It took me a while to get in to this one, I had started it before I picked up The Idea of You, and eventually finished it on our drive to the Outer Banks last week. The story begins with Mackenzie Cooper and the tragic accident that took place when her eyes left the road for a split second to check her GPS. Her daughter died, and she survived...moving on to a new life as Maggie. She finds a new beginning in a small town in Vermont and tries to create a new name for herself. She lives alone with her animals and works at a local spa, in a new career she enjoys. She tries to stay under the radar, until one of her best friend's children is accused of some online hacking and is in the national spotlight. As this story develops, Maggie's previous one unfolds telling all about her dark (to her) past and all the things she is scared of. Her past begins to follow her and more and more facts and people emerge in to her new life. I really enjoyed how the story developed throughout, but it seemed a little too slow for me. It jumped from her daughter's death right in to her new life- which was interesting and sort of sad to me. I loved how Maggie ended up facing her past and being so brave, even if it took a while. Overall, still a good read!

Enjoy your week- I'll be back Friday for another post, taking tomorrow off while on vacation!